The 3 Most Overpaid NHL Players at Every Position

Tom Urtz Jr.Contributor IJuly 18, 2013

The 3 Most Overpaid NHL Players at Every Position

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    With over 700 players a part of various NHL organizations, there are bound to be a few players—such as Brad Richards, Alex Ovechkin and Jason Garrison—who are overpaid.

    Players can still be talented while being overpaid, and this slideshow will feature some top players who make a tad too much. 

    Sometimes teams overpay to re-sign a player, and other times general managers lose composure during free-agency negotiations. Whatever the case may be, the following players are simply overpaid.

    Each on-ice position is full of notorious offenders; here are the three most overpaid players at each one.

Dany Heatley, Left Wing

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    2013 Salary: $5 Million

    Dany Heatley was a point-per-game player when he signed a contract with the Ottawa Senators, but his game has taken a huge nosedive. The Minnesota Wild winger has been an ineffective scorer and is overpaid.

    As he gets older he can become more prone to injury, so his next contract could be a short-term deal.

    He is in the last year of his contract, and the Wild will free up a ton of cap space if they wisely choose to let him walk. Heatley has a chance to rebound, but his future likely isn't in Minnesota.

Mike Cammalleri, Left Wing

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    2013 Salary: $6 Million

    Mike Cammalleri never should have received a contract that paid him $6 million annually. Even though he was coming off an 82-point season, the Calgary Flames winger didn't deserve to be paid like one of the league's top players.

    That was because Cammalleri was incapable of contributing consistently. He is an inconsistent secondary scorer, and he has been in decline over the past few years.

    Cammalleri has elite talent, but he has been unable to harness it for an extended period of time. When his contract is up he will likely draw interest, but right now he is too overpaid to acquire.

Ryane Clowe, Left Wing

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    2013 Salary: $4.85 Million

    Ryane Clowe capitalized in a huge way on free-agency day. The former New York Ranger and San Jose Shark hit the jackpot after signing a five-year deal worth $4.85 million a year. It didn't matter to Lou Lamoriello that Clowe suffered three concussions during the 2012-13 season.

    It didn't matter that Clowe only scored three goals. This contract looked rather foolish on July 5, and it doesn't look any better now that a couple of weeks have passed. If Clowe is healthy the contract is a steal, but he hasn't shown anything to suggest that he can remain healthy.

Brad Richards, Center

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    2013 Salary: $9 Million

    Over the past few seasons, Brad Richards has been a shell of himself. He had a great stretch of play in Dallas with the Stars, but since coming to New York he hasn't been as advertised.

    Richards' contract was designed to legally circumvent the salary cap with dummy years tacked on at the end. However, the stakes changed after the new CBA was forged.

    Broadway Brad was and still remains a prime buyout candidate, and he will have a chance to redeem himself in 2013-14.


Mike Richards, Center

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    2013 Salary: $7.6 Million

    Mike Richards is a talented two-way center, but $7.6 million a year in salary is a lot. He isn't the Los Angeles Kings' top center, but that isn't Dean Lombardi's fault. Philadelphia general manager Paul Holmgren signed Richards to a massive deal before unexpectedly dealing him from the Flyers.

    Nonetheless, Richards makes a lot of money, and his production doesn't justify his salary. He was on pace for 55 points over the course of an 82-game season, and he will need to increase his production to start earning his keep. 

    He has the intangibles, but he needs to contribute to justify his salary.

Paul Stastny, Center

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    2013 Salary: $6.6 Million

    The Colorado Avalanche announced the extension of Matt Duchene today, and the move could be a signal of the end of Paul Stastny's time with the franchise. Stastny makes $6.6 million a season, and the Avalanche have enough depth at center to deal him.

    Nathan MacKinnon and Ryan O'Reilly are the other centers on the roster, and both are, or will be better than Stastny.

    Since dazzling early in his career, Stastny's production has entered a downward spiral. Since recording three 70-point seasons, Stastny's production has decreased the past three years. He is a talented, strong and creative center, but he hasn't been able to live up to his contract.

    Stastny will be a free agent next summer, but don't be surprised if the Avs try to dump this bad contract sooner rather than later.

Alex Ovechkin, Right Wing

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    2013 Salary: $9 Million

    Alex Ovechkin has one of the NHL's largest salaries, but he doesn't deserve it. While Ovie may be a superstar with amazing skills, he hasn't played like one for the past few years. His days of being a 100-point player are gone, and $9 million is a lot to pay for an 80-point player.

    He could return to his greatness with the right set of linemates, but his bloated salary and contract are a huge burden to the Washington Capitals. He only showed up for half of the 2012-13 season, and he will need to be a more complete player going forward.

    Ovechkin's salary was once justified, but going forward the deal looks bad.

Alex Semin, Carolina Hurricanes

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    2013 Salary: $7 Million

    Alex Semin had a solid first season with the Carolina Hurricanes, but his $7 million salary is questionable at best. Semin increased his point-per-game production, but he hasn't shown that he can be a consistent scorer.

    It was a huge risk to give Semin so much money upfront, and given his history of inconsistency, GM Jim Rutherford will likely regret this deal. A deal worth $2 million less would have been fair for Semin, and it would have been a moveable contract in the event he fails to succeed.

Alexandre Burrows, Right Wing

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    2013 Salary: $6 Million

    Alexandre Burrows is an effective pest, but he is an overpaid right winger. A salary of $6 million is a lot to spend of a player like him, and his cap hit of $4.5 million isn't much better. He is 32 years old, and his offensive production doesn't warrant a costly salary.

    While he does contribute defensively and on the penalty kill, his salary usually accompanies premier offensive players. Burrows is effective at what he does, but GM Mike Gillis overpaid him during the last round of salary negotiations. 

Jason Garrison, Defense

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    2013 Salary: $6.5 Million

    Jason Garrison had one good season with the Florida Panthers, and the Vancouver Canucks overpaid to acquire him. He was expected to help the power play, but he wasn't much of an asset during the 2012-13 season. Garrison has a booming shot, but he only contributed 16 points last season.

    The Canucks are probably banking on him having a bounce-back season, and at $6.5 million he better hit the 40-point mark.

Brian Campbell, Defense

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    2013 Salary: $7,142,875

    Brian Campbell is vastly overpaid, and he was one of the contracts the Chicago Blackhawks got rid of after their 2010 Cup win. Campbell, now a member of the Florida Panthers, has had some success since leaving the Blackhawks.

    A 53-point season in 2011-12 was one of his brightest moments, but he has done nothing to justify one of the largest salaries amongst defensemen. He got his deal during a time in which overspending was a trend, but that still doesn't justify his massive salary.

Tyler Myers, Defense

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    2013 Salary: $6 Million

    Tyler Myers has been a disappointment thus far for the Buffalo Sabres. Since having two solid seasons to start his career, Myers' numbers have dropped significantly. Last season Myers contributed a meager eight points, and he made $22 million in salary and bonuses.

    This year he will only make $6 million, but it's still a lot to pay for an offensive defenseman who can't score or contribute.

Pekka Rinne, Goalie

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    2013 Salary: $7 Million

    Pekka Rinne is a great goaltender with a ton of potential, but he isn't worth $7 million a year. He's had a few good seasons with the Nashville Predators, but he has also had his fair share of disappointments.

    Last year was a down year for Rinne, and it looked bad considering the extension he had just signed.

    With virtually no playoff success or hardware, it is hard to justify GM David Poile's decision to give him $7 million a year. He may develop into a $7 million player, but goaltenders who have accomplished more make less than he does.


Roberto Luongo, Goalie

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    2013 Salary: $6.7 Million

    Roberto Luongo is a solid goaltender who has shown great success during the regular season, but his cap hit and salary are a bit high. There is no argument that Luongo has been one of the Western Conference's best goaltenders over the last few years, but he should be making less.

    If the Canucks didn't overpay him on a whim, they would have cap flexibility, and they wouldn't be stuck with a virtually immovable contract. Luongo's contract will go down as one of the worst of all time, but he still could be bought out next summer.

Martin Brodeur, Goalie

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    2013 Salary: $5 Million

    This is not a slight on one of the league's best netminders of all time.

    At age 41, Martin Brodeur isn't the goalie he was at 31, and for that reason he shouldn't be making $5 million a year.

    There was once a time when he deserved a salary of this size, but those days are long gone. At this stage Brodeur isn't one of the NHL's top 10 starters, so he should be making about $3 million a year. 

    With Cory Schneider now in town, Brodeur could become one of the league's richest backups.